Tuesday, 29 September 2009

MHS Beagle, Second Life, and How Darwin Changed my Life

Model of the HMS Beagle, perhaps the most important ship in the history of knowledge.

It is my philosophy that knowledge is voyage. Ideology and even philosophy can be extracted from books on chairs, but new knowledge is always connected with voyages. I believe that no species that does not establish mass trading empires or conduct long voyages in relative peace will be able to collect the kind of evidence needed to form the "truth" of evolution, and without that theory there is a limit to complexity theories including biology.

So in all Universes the voyage is the key element in forming knowledge, and my voyage through Second Life is greatly inspired by Darwin more than any other scientist. His slow constant collection of forms and their catalogue is what built the body of material up to establish that the normal common-sense understandings of life and its history were not adequate. If Darwin has stayed in his garden he would have not been able to fully see that the world was not a garden, travel the world made him see more of what was going on.

And in my own studies of Second Life I find books, conferences, and web discussions to be of only so much value. I have needed to make a wide ranging voyage over the Space of Second Life to try and break out of the kind of single SIM thinking we sometimes form to get a greater understanding of what is forming avatars. In a way our questions are the same, he looked at bodies and I look at avatars but we are both trying to see what forms these structures.

Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life
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